Tips For Internships: How To Survive Your First Day

By Chelsea Evara| May 19, 2015

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The start date for summer internships is just around the corner, and for many of you the first day will be quite a nerve racking experience.

This is completely normal. Even seasoned pros like Billy J. Canton get first day nerves (although he’d never admit it).

Despite your first day nerves, it’s important that you make a good first impression. To help you guys out I’m sharing some of my top tips for surviving the first day of your internship.

If you follow these five basic tips for your internships, you’ll conquer your first day jitters in no time.


1. Dress the part

tips for internships: interns in a meetingFirst impressions count, A LOT! So it’s important that you dress the part. Do your research before you start your internship so you know what the dress code is. Imagine how awkward you’ll feel if you show up in a suit and the dress is code is business casual?!

Once you know the dress code, make sure you choose an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. One of the best things you can do is keep your clothes simple in the wardrobe department while you find your feet in your new environment. See some tips on how to dress for summer internships!

For girls it’s important that your neckline isn’t too low, your clothes aren’t too tight and your skirt/dress isn’t too short.

For guys, make sure you reach for the iron (to get rid of those creases) and polish up those shoes. You’ll be amazed how much these things matter.

2. Research…

Never underestimate the importance of research. Do your homework and make sure you know your supervisors name and who you’ll be working with. If you’re working with a big company, it will also be useful to know where you’ll be based with in the company so you know where you need to go from day 1.

3. What To Bring

tips for internships: notepad and penMake sure you bring a bag or brief case that you can use to store some necessities. Some things to bring include:

  • A notebook – You may get one at work but you should have a personal one too to write down peoples names and position within the company. This is important for making sure you address them correctly when you meet them in future.
  • A pen – It’s always good to have one at hand
  • Your supervisor’s contact information
  • A snack – incase your tummy decides to talk to you throughout the day
  • A travel size deodorant – it’s summer and it’s hot, be prepared and don’t be embarrassed by unpleasant body odors
  • Gum – to make sure your breath is always minty fresh
  • Public transport schedules – so you can get to and from work on time
  • Any other documents or utensils that may be important for your internship

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4. Ask Questions

It is your first day in a brand new environment and a new job. You are not expected to know how everything works. Make sure you ask your supervisor and co-workers questions. You might think you are being annoying but you aren’t. Asking questions shows you are eager and willing to learn. It’s also better to ask questions than to do something wrong.

Asking questions early on, means you will get to know your new office in no time.

5. Ignore Your Phone

tips for internships: male on a cell phoneAs hard as it can be to resist, make sure you leave your cell phone out of sight on your first day. If you really need to check it, wait until your lunch break.

After a few days, when you have a feel for the office, you will know if other people check their phones throughout the day. If they do, then it may be okay for you to too, but make sure you aren’t on your phone in front of supervisors.


 

If you follow these five tips, I’m sure those first day jitters will disappear in no time. Once you’ve survived your first day, you can really get working on being the best intern ever.

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